The fiftieth anniversary of the University of Warwick also marks the fiftieth anniversary of its Art Collection. This exhibition examines how the forces that shaped the University also influenced the development of the collection.

The exhibition opens with the modernist utopia of the early University where the great colourfield paintings were hung like flags for the new, egalitarian age. It looks at how prints were bought to respond to ideas of a community in the 1970s, humanising the campus. In the 1980s, both the University and the collection were rewired by a new phase of development that included the creation of the Mead Gallery, while at the millennium, commissions sought to redefine public art in the context of a university. In the twenty-first century, the University Art Collection has many roles: delivering teaching, learning and research; introducing thousands of children and their families to the University; providing work experience for students and opportunities for artists; developing a sense of place and identity for the campus; initiating and extending discussions with its many audiences.

The exhibition will include the work of over 100 artists including Hurvin Anderson, Claire Barclay, Jack Bush, Terry Frost, Tess Jaray, Patrick Heron, Richard Long, Francis Morland, Yoko Ono, Eduardo Paolozzi, Fiona Rae, Anne Redpath and Andy Warhol.

A 150 page colour illustrated book, Imagining a University, has been published to coincide with the exhibition and is now on sale in the Mead Gallery for a Special Exhibition Price of £18 (from 21 June, the price will be £25). For details, go to New Mead Gallery Publication

This exhibition forms part of The University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary celebrations.